The Matt Kuchar vs. his fill-in caddie at a Mexican golf tournament in November saga keeps rolling along and now we have the professional golfer clapping back at Mexican caddie David “El Tucan” Ortiz for not being grateful over his generosity with his money. Tucan made headlines this week after a Golf.com story broke in which it came out that Tucan was offered $15,000 more on top of the $5,000 Kuchar paid him, but that additional $15,000 was only after Tucan contacted KOOOOOCH’s management to say the golfer was cheap and didn’t follow the typical protocol after winning a big time paycheck. Tucan told Kuchar’s team to shove their $15,000 and then he went to the golf media.
Now, in a new Golf.com piece, KOOOOOCH claps back at the caddie and says a deal is a deal and Tucan made the deal and he should be happy that he made money at all that week. I’m telling you guys, this is an odd beef for Kuchar to keep putting himself into. This is not how you win the public relations game. I said it earlier this week and I stand by it, you deliver $50,000 in cash to this guy, you tell a sponsor you need a new Chevy truck with Bridgestone tires (I think that’s Kuchar’s sponsor) and voila you make like $500,000 in earned media, if not more. You end up on SportsCenter with the caddie where you both smile, maybe the caddie cries over you changing his life and ESPN turns it into a 30 for 30. You end up getting a bunch of great press during all the major tournaments because it’s a storyline that golf media will gargle on — poor Mexican hits it big thanks to good guy Matt Kuchar winning a tournament…fairy tale…blah, blah, blah. This doesn’t seem hard.
Instead, we get Kuchar literally flexing on this caddie and turning himself into a debate topic. That’s not where a golfer wants to be unless you’re Tiger Woods. Wait, there’s a common denominator here — see below. Do your brands want you being ridiculed on First Take or on 30 for 30 bringing people to tears over how nice you are? I’m not some super agent and I know the right decision here.
The deal here is that there seems to be an unwritten rule on the golf scene that a caddie pockets an additional 10% or so if his guy wins a tournament. In this case, Tucan isn’t the normal caddie and isn’t asking for a normal 10%. But how about 5% — $50k and keep the change? That doesn’t seem too hard. The golf media gets it and from what I’ve seen this seems to be customary amongst caddies and players. That’s what has Tucan heated here and he should be heated. Cheap is cheap and Kuchar thought $1,000 was a nice bonus for the fill-in Mexican caddie, the guy he praised like crazy after the win.
“[El Tucan is] definitely my lucky charm,” Kuchar said on Sunday night. “It was great having him with me. I feel like he brought me good luck, some extra crowd support, and did a great job as well. So he was great on the bag. Did just what I kind of was looking for and hoping for.”